- Lauren Russell, 23, is the founder of the social-media agency, Irresistibly Social LLC.
- In June 2022, Russell booked $16,000 in sales and regularly passes five figures in monthly revenue.
- She shared the steps she took to launch a social-media business and her advice on finding success.
While Lauren Russell was encouraged to climb a corporate ladder and take a more traditional approach to her career, the success of her travel blog, marketing videos on TikTok, and personal brand quickly became a lucrative alternative.
“I was educating people on TikTok and, one day, I had a video go super viral,” she said. “I woke up and had a calendar full of discovery calls” that viewers booked through the link in her TikTok bio, she added.
In 2020, that viral TikTok pushed Russell to launch Irresistibly Social LLC, a fully remote marketing agency specializing in social-media-content creation, community building, and digital advertising. In June 2022, Russell booked $16,000 in sales and regularly passes five figures in monthly revenue, according to documents viewed by Insider.
Russell shared the steps she took to launch a social-media business and her advice on niching down to find success. This is an as-told-to story, based on an interview with Russell, and has been edited for length and clarity.
Building a business with “no floor under me”
Irresistibly Social LLC started with a viral TikTok.
I was not prepared for the influx of customers after going viral. But I still logged onto my first scheduled discovery call and pitched myself as a solo social-media manager for the first time.
I felt like I had just skyrocketed to the moon with no floor under me.
Those first calls were lessons in rejection. But I’m grateful for those “no’s” because they taught me how to redirect. Initially, I was so unsure of myself that I had to regain confidence in my public-speaking abilities and define exactly what my offerings were to solidify my pitch.
My first year was a lot of learning how to navigate an online business, especially surrounding my value as a service provider.
At first, I was charging $400 a month for full-service social-media packages, which included Instagram strategy, hashtags, community management, direct-message management, and content creation. I didn’t realize that businesses and brands would pay much more for what I was providing until later.
Investing in the business to grow
By March 2021, I was making $4,000 or $5,000 a month, but I decided to sell everything I owned and travel full time while working.
Meeting people while traveling was a huge benefit to my business — some were fellow founders, and others introduced me to future clients. That’s how I kept the business going: I kept meeting people and networking.
I also continually invest in myself and my business, which is important for all founders looking to grow.
I hired coaches, took courses, read books, listened to podcasts, networked with people in high-level marketing positions, and tried to ask them as many valuable questions as I could.
After years of trial, error, and learning, I transitioned from a business with no contracts — where I conducted everything over email and accepted payments through Venmo — to a business with structured procedures, client-onboarding processes, and a more-solidified workflow with assistants, copywriters, and graphic designers.
Finding your micro-niche in a growing gig economy
As the gig economy and the online-business space have grown, it’s been important to niche down to the work that is simultaneously exciting and lucrative for me.
Service providers and founders should home in on a skill or industry they’re passionate about to find the right client fits. For example, in 2022, I started carving out my niche with Web3 brands and larger crypto companies.
I’ve had the chance to take on multiple different roles with these brands, including creating content, covering events on Twitter, and taking part in on-the-ground event marketing, traveling to places like New York, Colombia, and Portugal.
My biggest piece of advice for social-media founders today is to stop trying to emulate what others are telling you to do. Find your own path and your own way of working, because there are so many routes to go in the growing online-business world.